Board of Commissioners Proclaim October 15 as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day
It’s one of the most exciting days for couples expecting a child – the ultrasound appointment where they find out the sex of their baby. For some couples though, like Christopher and Angela Bullard of Kannapolis, excitement can turn into confusion and heartache when complications with the pregnancy are discovered.
The Bullards did not find out the sex of their child that day, instead they learned that their baby did not have a bladder or kidneys resulting in no amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus. The child had Potters Syndrome, and they were told there was no chance for survival. Babies with this disease either die before birth or shortly after birth.
Christopher and Angela never gave up hope or love for their child. Angela carried the baby through a painful pregnancy for eight months. “The one thing I knew to be true was my child’s heartbeat. The very heartbeat of my child made everything all right. I believed in my heart and soul that I was truly a genuine mother and did whatever I had to for my child,” Angela writes in her story on www.foreverparents.org.
When Angela went into labor, they rushed to the hospital and she was hooked to monitors. But after a while the line on the baby’s heart monitor went flat. Knowing that their little baby had died, Angela pushed through labor to deliver their baby girl, which they named Victoria Joy Bullard. Christopher and Angela were able to spend one hour holding Victoria following this tragic birth.
Following the death of their baby girl, the Bullards began looking for positive ways to cope with and grieve the loss of their baby. Through research, they learned that 1 million pregnancies in the United States end in miscarriage, stillbirth, or death of a newborn.
“It’s often uncomfortable to talk about a baby’s death with someone who hasn’t been there themselves. But there is a real need for parents of these angel babies to be able to talk about their child and the loss they are experiencing. That feeling of loss never goes away,” said Christopher Bullard, who also reaches out to dads grieving the loss of an infant.
To give validation to those who have lost a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth or post-birth complications, the Bullards along with community partners are hosting a Balloon Release ceremony at 10:30 a.m. October 15 at Village Park in Kannapolis to commemorate national Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Parents can rsvp to have a balloon released in their child’s memory at this community event. Details: www.foreverparents.org.
Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners, Concord City Council, and Kannapolis City Council have signed proclamations in support of this community observance of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day and encourage more awareness and education. North Carolina continues to exceed the national average for infant mortality rate with nearly eight infant deaths per 1,000 births. Other community partners participating in this event include Cabarrus Health Alliance, Charlotte Mothers of Multiples and March of Dimes.
For more information about Forever Parents or the Community Balloon Release, call 704-491-6991 or visit www.foreverparents.org or facebook.com/weareforeverparents.